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Member of ripoff crew sentenced to 20-years drug-related homicide

March 30, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Member of ripoff crew sentenced to 20-years drug-related homicide

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On Wednesday, a man who was acquitted of murder is still facing life behind bars after jurors convicted him of aggravated robbery in a drug-related homicide.

Ricardo Lorenzo Macias Jr. was found not guilty of murder in connection with the killing of Jose Castañon back in May 2013. However, he convicted on a lesser charge of manslaughter, which carries a prison sentence of up to 20 years, the El Paso Times reported.

Macias is still facing life in prison because he was also found guilty on one count of aggravated robbery in connection with the drug-related homicide.

The sentencing aspect of the trial started shortly after the verdict was announced.

Macias, Sonia Bautista, and Brianna Garay are accused of slaying Castañon during a drug deal gone wrong at about 2 a.m. in May 2013, at his residence in El Paso. The suspects went to Castañon’s house to purchase Ecstasy when a fight erupted, and Castañon was beaten to death.

Ricardo Lorenzo Macias Jr. reacts to the verdict

Macias’ defense attorneys Theresa Caballero and James Lucas asked for a mild sentence before 120th District Court Judge Maria Salas-Mendoza.

They requested probation on the robbery charge and a prison sentence of fewer than five years on the manslaughter charge.

“They were four kids, and they were being idiots, but that doesn’t mean you have to throw away the key,” Caballero stated.

Ricardo Macias, 21; pictured with Sonia Bautista, 21; Brianna Garay, 18

Lucas continued, “if you give him (Macias) a long sentence, you are ruining his life, his family’s life, his wife’s life and his daughter’s life.”

State prosecutors Denise Butterworth and James Montoya asked for a sentence of no fewer than 60 years.

“What happened that night was grossly unfair,” Butterworth said in court. “…grossly unmerciful. What (the jury) are going to say with your sentence is Jose’s life worth. We are asking for a minimum sentence of 60 years.”

Bautista was already found guilty of murder in connection with Castañon’s killing. She was sentenced to 48 years in 2015. Garay’s trial is scheduled to begin in July.

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